If your dog suddenly develops a sore, red spot for no apparent reason, don't worry. While it's sure to be painful and needs treatment, most of these types of sores are a condition commonly referred to as hot spots. Hot spots on dogs are painful and can cause bigger problems if left untreated, but in most cases, they're fairly easy to take care of.

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1. Hot spot basics

Hot spots are red, inflamed spots on a dog's skin, most commonly found on the feet or legs. They usually start small and may at first be mistaken for insect bites, but usually quickly develop into large, oozing sores. Another common name for them is moist dermatitis, in part because the fur around the hot spot is usually wet from frequent licking.

Painful, itchy skin irritation shotbychatty / Getty Images
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